In sleepwalking, the person is just awake enough to be active but is still asleep so unaware of the activities. Sometimes disorders like sleepwalking are called “disorders of arousal” since the person is in a mixed state of awareness which means they are not fully asleep or awake.
Sleepwalking disorders can range from sitting up in bed to complex behaviors such as driving a car. Sleepwalkers are unaware of their surroundings so can fall down or put themselves in danger. Despite the myths, it is not dangerous to wake up a sleepwalker. However the person will not typically have recall of the sleepwalking event and may be confused or disoriented.
What can I do for parasomnias?
Many people with parasomnias see an improvement by improving their sleep habits. Some sleep healthy sleep tips include:
Ensure you are getting enough sleep
Keep a regular schedule of going to bed and waking up
Avoid alcohol or other sedatives at night that might make it hard for you to completely wake up
Avoid caffeine or smoking
Keep the bedroom quiet to avoid getting disturbed
We need to make sure that persons suffering from parasomnias remain safe. Some tips for bedroom safety with a parasomnia include:
Avoiding large objects that can fall by the bedside
Make sure there are no objects on the floor that can be tripped over
Close and lock bedroom doors and windows to ensure a person cannot go outside
Consider an alarm or bell on the door
Close shades over windows in case they are hit to protect a person from glass
Remove potentially dangerous objects and weapons in the bedroom
Avoid significant elevation. No bunk beds. Consider mattresses on the ground, and ground floor